Sunday, July 14, 2013

More Quilt Blocks, Even Though I Still Can't Make the Pieces Match

Over the last week or so, I finished four more blocks on my Civil War reproduction quilt.  The pieces still don't line up perfectly on my blocks, but I'm have lots of fun, and thinking a lot about life during the Civil War.  I'm making my quilt out of reproduction fabrics.  They're nicely cut in fat quarters, and they're all 100% cotton.  Back in Civil War times, quilts would be make of scraps gleaned from worn out clothes, leftovers from sewing projects, and anything else a woman could get her hands on and use to keep her family warm.  I doubt her fabrics were all 100% cotton, and I'm sure they didn't come in nice neat fat quarters.  She didn't have a rotary cutter or an assortment of see through rulers in all sorts of shapes.  Her sewing was done by hand.  A block I knock out in a couple of hours must have taken her several days.  As she sat in her chair piecing little scraps of leftovers into something beautiful, she must have worried about her loved ones in the battle.  Perhaps her quilt was intended to warm her beloved son or faithful husband of many year.  Perhaps she sewed her fears, love, and prayers into that quilt, and hoped with all her heart that her beloved would still be alive to use it.  I worry about my points not being cut off.  She worried about her men staying alive.  Perspective!

This block is called "Yankee Puzzle".  It was definitely the most fun to make.

Here is my "Temperance" block.  This one gave me the most trouble with the sewing.  I decided to switch the lights and the darks, so that's probably what threw me off.

This "Union Pride" block is probably my least favorite.  If you look closely, you'll see a big mistake, which I decided to leave.

"Rally 'Round the Flag" was fun to sew.  Don really likes this one.

Four more blocks to go!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Civil War Reproduction Quilt, Even Though I Can't Make Quilt Pieces Match

When I was a young child, my mother would often take me to visit her aunt.  Aunt Hi lived in a house that was full of figurines, dishes, pictures, and other things that made it no place for a child.  Fortunately for me, I was awed by many of these things, and loved to quietly look at them.  (I knew that if I touched anything, I wouldn't live to tell about it.  Neither would my mother!)  The thing that always caught my attention and sparked my imagination the most, was a picture of a civil war soldier.  He was in full uniform, standing straight and tall in the unsmiling posture popular at the time.  I always asked who he was, and I was told each and every time, "Let's see.  Now I think he would be a great uncle to you."

I don't know where that picture is now, but it still haunts me.  Over the years, it's inspired an interest in the Civil War.  What was it like to live in those times?  What was it like to be a women during the war?  It must have been incredibly difficult.  A woman couldn't fight in the war, although some disguised themselves and did.  She was limited to the home and the hospital, for the most part, while the men she loved were dying in staggering numbers.

My interest in the Civil War has naturally led me to want to make a Civil War reproduction quilt.  I'm not a great quilter, as a matter of fact, nothing ever lines up right in my quilts, no matter how careful I am.  But when Craftsy offered a free class to first timers, and a class that involved making a Civil War reproduction quilt was on the list, I decided to go for it.  After all, imperfect quilt blocks are not exactly the end of the world!  Let's keep some perspective here, right?  Don bought me some reproduction fabrics, and I was off.

The first block is "Remember Me".  If I can track down my relative's name, I may write it in the center of the block.

The next block is called "Sherman's March".  It has a whole lot of other names too.

"Birds in the Air" comes next.  I love this block.

Yesterday I finished the "Barbara Fritchie" block.  This one was tough!

There are more blocks to go.  I'll keep you posted on progress, if you promise to ignore all the spots that don't match!
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